Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Drama.... It's Everywhere

People gravitate towards drama. We had an interesting discussion in one of my classes about how violence on TV affects one’s perspective. I believe it affects people because they become fearful of murders, being robbed, or some other vicious act. Gerber, the man behind the Cultivation Theory, made an interesting point when he said that the media becomes the social storyteller. In other words, they tell people what to think or believe. He also said that people start to believe what they see on TV is the reality in real life. No wonder this happens. People become desensitized to violence because it’s on several TV shows.

I’ve thought about another avenue that drama has crept in—blogs. Twists and turns are a part of life, which means it’s inevitable. What I’ve found interesting is people’s reactions to drama compared to everyday life. Think about it. There’s no denying that people get more comments and views per posts when there’s drama involved. Yes, I've often wondered why people feel compelled to read about certain bad things. It's like they love the drama of it all and everything else fades into the background. If people didn't love drama and be curious to see what happens next, there wouldn't be countless dramas flooding our TVs each night. Like Kelly's Korner (_______ insert blogger name here). Not many people read before Harper was born, and now her blog has exploded.


I think we as humans thrive on excitement and unusual things. Some people don’t want every aspect of life to be predictable. I think there’s just something about the unknown that draws people in because their emotions get involved, then they’re hooked. They need to know what happens next.

I don’t know about you, but when you’ve experience just how quick life can go from peaceful and calm to distress and utter confusion in mere seconds, you appreciate predictability. You crave “normalcy”. I put normal in quotes because what is normal? Who is normal? While you may not have a physical disability, you might have a crooked nose or be a bit discouraged by your appearance. The point is no one is normal. Growing up being a little different caused me to see things differently, which led me to question things. I’ve come to understand that each one of us defines what is normal. You might have a family of six with a dog. That’s normal. A cousin might have glasses. That’s normal. You might love being an artist and loathe sitting behind a desk. That’s OK. It’s normal. We’re all created with different desires and likes/dislikes, but at the end of the day, we all have one thing in common. We’re human. We could see a musician, a nurse, and an executive in the street thinking they have absolutely nothing in common, but they do. We all feel the heartbeat of America each day. Whether it’s the slow whir of a mixer or the soft hum of jazz music in the background, these things work together to create a diverse and beautiful culture that is filled with things that drive our passions each day.

*I just think people need to realize that pain is real and behind every blog is a human person with feelings, problems. I also know that some people read because they're genuinely concerned*.


What are your thoughts? Do you think Americans thrive on drama?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Different Kind of Christmas

I just finished Christmas Eve with my Dad's side of the family. I went to my Granny and Papa's Christmas Eve breakfast and rested in between.

Christmas



Christmas is different when you get older. No more Santa to anticipate. I guess I'm having a hard time adjusting. Opening gifts becomes somewhat familiar. Don't get me wrong, Christmas is still special, it's just special in a different way. It's a time with family instead of a mound of gifts. It's the smiles of cousins when their faces light up instead of a toy making a noise. Toddlers laughing and running around is replaced by jokes and countless pictures.


Grandmothers getting out the video camera is replaced by a favorite TV show. Change isn't a bad thing, it just takes a little getting used to. Mama said that this feeling is normal. She said things would change when I have my own kids. I'm laughing to myself just thinking about that one. Oh, the fun times ahead.


I got lots of fun gifts. I may post pictures soon. I'm incredibly blessed. I guess I'm just mourning what Christmas used to mean. But, instead of that, I should be embracing the new Christmas. I have to say I was elated watching my cousins find pleasure in opening their gifts from me. I love to give things to others. I love picking out just the right gift for my cousins and family.


I know one thing that will never ever change. God's love and sacrifice will be forever etched in my memory. He gave the ultimate gift, not some $20 cookie cutter gift from Wal-M@rt. He, too, took great care and thought in his gift. He didn't make a hasty decision or expect anything in return. As today's society rushes around standing in long lines to find a gift, phones constantly buzzing. That buzz can overshadow Christmas if we let it. That buzz symbolizes a barrier between the meaningful things and the things that couldn't matter less if we really stop and think about it. That business call that could wait until Saturday. That pesky telemarketer...

So, how has Christmas changed for you over the years?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Writer's Alcove: Off Camera with Trish Van Pilsum



As you get ready to celebrate Christmas this morning and maybe even shake the snow flurries from your coat, grab a cup of hot chocolate as we learn more about Trish from Off Camera with Trish Van Pilsum. She's a reporter by day but mom is the title that tops them all. She is a person that has managed to find a balance between work and family, which is no easy feat, dear readers.


1. If you had to write a book about me what would it be about?



If I were really going to decide what to include in a book about you I would spend time getting to know you and, of course, do lots of research as any good investigative reporter would. But since we are on a tight deadline I will just come up with an angle based on what I can glean from your blog.

This is the story line:
Our protagonist (that’s you) is on a campaign is preserve the fine art of writing. What’s great about this is that she is defying the direction the rest of her generation is going what with texting an all abbreviated forms of communication. There’s great irony in that our protagonist uses digital technology...the blogosphere...to spread her campaign far and wide. She has these really interesting and strong relationships in her life, a twin, a brother, a grandmother. I could see the book taking the shape of a series of letters to the people with whom she has relationships. This time honored form of communication allows the richness of reflection (you get to think about what you’re going to say before you say it) and preservation (you can save the letters forever).




2. Given the chance to write a book about your life what would the title be?



If I wrote a book about my life today I would title it “Standing Comfortably with God.” Not that I am standing in that place now, but that’s what I’m seeking to do. I’m trying to discern what it is that God wants me to be doing. I want God to know my whole heart and be happy with what he sees. Anyway, the phrase, “standing comfortably with God,” comes from John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. I blogged about it a couple of weeks ago.



3.

What books do you read for pleasure?



I read novels for pleasure, usually character studies. I’ve been rereading some of the classics. Some of my favorite books include: Tracks by Louise Erdrich, Beloved by Toni Morrison, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner, gosh, I know I’m forgetting some.



4. What is one memory that will be forever etched in your mind?



I will never for get the moment I heard my first baby’s heart beat for the first time.
Bmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbmbm.
Rapid. Steady. Sure. Alive. A miracle. Such a miracle.
I started to giggle and I couldn't stop.
“Am I tickling you?” the ultra sound tech asked.
“No. It’s just this is so fun. Oh, my god, this is so fun. I have never been so happy. This is the happiest moment of my life. I’m sorry,” I gasped. “I just can’t stop laughing.”

You see, I had always wanted to be a mom. More than I wanted the great stories. More than I wanted the prestigious awards. More than I wanted big scoops. I wanted to be a mom. And in that moment I knew I was.


5.

Do you approach life with a glass half full approach?


I’m working on being more of a glass half full person. I think my job has trained me to be a glass half empty person. That is, as an investigative reporter I’m trained to be skeptical. To see the story behind the story. To have doubts and to be critical. I’m afraid that sometimes that bleeds into my everyday life. And, to be honest, that is a hard way to go through life. It’s hard on the people around you, too. I recently took a fabulous class at the University of Minnesota called, “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.” It was basically a meditation class. I learned how to be present. To focus on the beauty of each moment. This had a huge impact on me. I think I’m doing better letting go a those glass have empty thoughts. I’m amazed at how my entire outlook has changed.

6. Given the chance to be locked in a bakery for a night, what dessert would be your first choice?

Locked in a bakery, I would go immediately for the chocolate. I prefer an old fashioned chocolate cake...the kind with three layers and butter cream frosting...to the dense flourless kind. Most bakeries don’t carry this kind of cake anymore so, if I HAD to I could settle for, oh, a chocolate éclair or chocolate donut or chocolate cupcake or chocolate croissant or chocolate...you get the idea.


7.

Describe yourself in one sentence.


I am a high energy, hard working, disorganized, relentlessly curious person who loves kids, chocolate, literature, shopping local, pretty wrapping paper and prefers to give rather than receive.


8.

At home, would you rather be in front of the camera or behind it?


At home I would definitely rather be behind the camera. My children and my husband are my life. There are so many beautiful moments I desperately want to capture. If I could shoot it all and store it permanently in my memory banks I would. My children have changed so dramatically. And not just their appearances. Their voices, their gestures, even their attitudes transform right before my eyes. Capturing those nuances isn’t easy. It would take a much more skilled photojournalist than me.


9.

What’s the best thing about your job?


The best thing about my job, without a doubt, is that I meet the most incredible people.
People let me into their lives at times of great joy and deep despair. This is a privilege that I do not take lightly. They trust me with their stories. To tell those stories well is, to me, an almost sacred responsibility. The people whose stories I have told have inspired me with their strength and resilience. They have taught me more about grace and forgiveness than I ever would have imagined.


10. Tell us about one of the most memorable stories that you’ve had the privilege to cover?



“Mary Kay Sanders said she wanted to put a face to cancer. What a face it is.” I still remember the final line of a series of stories I did more than 10 years ago about mother of four with breast cancer. She won the Mrs. Minnesota competition not long after first being diagnosed and undergoing treatment. She won the international title after a reoccurrence. Mary Kay was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever known because of the spirit that radiated from her. This disease, though is would claim her life, could not conquer that spirit.
It was a privilege to have shared her final months with her. Her story touched many, many lives.

The other most memorable story was called “Room to Live.” The goal of this story was to show the importance of wearing seatbelts. I asked police all over the state to call me every time there was a fatal crash in which the people were ejected from the car because they weren’t wearing their seatbelt. I then climbed into the front seat, which was usually completely intact, to show that if the drivers had stayed safely buckled in the car, they likely would have lived. This story was so dramatic and impactful it’s now being used in driver safety classes all over the world.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Memories Rewind: Fake Winter Wonderland

Probably everyone has heard the saying, "It doesn't take much to satisfy a child." For my brother and I, that was put to the test one windy day years ago. Mama knew we needed to burn off some energy for the day, but she had thought of all the obvious things already. She wanted something fun, something different. In a moment of genius, an idea came to her. We loved playing in the log house that Santa brought us, but why not "decorate" it, she thought?

She found a can of shaving cream and was ready to unveil her plan. "Come here, kids. I've got something you'll love. "My brother's eyes light up at the sight of the shiny white spray can with the red letters. Ever the one to follow the rules, I waited for Mama's ok. My brother was hanging on her every word.

"You can make a mess with the shaving cream on the house...but...." Oh boy! We get to make a mess! Our heads were spinning with ideas. Should we make Santa beards on each other? Should we write our names in shaving cream? We didn't know how to choose, so we did a little of all of it. Our dreams of a winter wonderland were downsized when Mama said we had to clean up the mess.

Armed with a spray can for each of us, we made a plan. I positioned myself on one side, my brother on the other. We weren't stupid-we didn't want the other one to mess up our design. That would be a disaster! I had a spray and smear method. Before long, I had smeared it on my clothes and the grass. My brother and I quickly decided it would be more fun if we worked together.

An hour later, our brown play house was unrecognizable. It was covered in a mound of fluffy white cream. We thought it looked fabulous. Hey, the ground looked prettier sprinkled with white! I thought. "Hiss" was the sound that I heard from the can. It had stopped dispensing that magical cream that made everything better. I exchanged a knowing glance with my brother signaling the fun was over.

Mama had let us have our fun. Now, we had to clean up. We spotted the hose and made a run for it. E turned the water on. I started washing away the fun. The yellow shutters peaked through the "snow". The red door was back in tip top shape. Before we left, our playhouse was spotless as clean as it could be with a couple of kids.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Answers

Thanks for all of the questions everyone!


Jillian said: What is your favorite thing about Christmas?

My favorite thing would have to be spending time with family. The atmosphere is quite magical, too. Kids are full of hope and in awe of everything.

Meg said: What's the favorite gift you've ever given?

This is kind of a hard one. If I had to pick a favorite gift that I've given, I would have to say the bag full of my Papa's favorite candies because I love helping my mom pick out things that I know he will love. A close second would be when I went in with my mom to get my brother one of those things that detects when the law is close. He really wanted that and I wanted to be a part of that. He wasn't expecting that at all.

The Blonde Duck said: What's your favorite thing to eat?

Without a doubt, it is my Memaw's fudge. So yummy!

Q, La, and Gooner said: What is your favorite Christmas Carol?

I can't pick just one on this one because there's too many good ones. Silent Night is so beautiful. It's not a song that is overpowered by loud drums or clanging bells, it's just a simple melody. I guess that's one reason that I like it. On the other end of the spectrum would be Winter Wonderland because it's associated with fun. I imagine kids frockling in the snow, bundled up in coats and mittens going to sing carols.

Edit: My Grown Up Christmas List is another one.

I wasn't sure anyone would participate in this, so I came up with some questions. LOL. I didn't want to disappoint ya'll.

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What's my favorite Christmas memory?

I can't pick just one. I loved decorating the tree. I also loved riding around looking at Christmas lights.


What's something that my family does to make Christmas unique?

My grandparents host a Christmas breakfast every year on Christmas Eve morning. Lots of people come and it's a good time to catch up with old friends. Be prepared to laugh a lot....and maybe sing a carol or two!


What was my favorite Christmas gift?

One year I remember vividly asking Santa to bring me a toy cash register with a buggy and food of course. You can't be a cashier without something to ring up, right? There will be a Memories Rewind post to come on that story. Stay tuned!




If you have any more Christmas questions, ask away! I had a blast answering them!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Christmas Twist

My pick for Friday's Writer's Alcove has had some computer trouble. I promise to post it as soon as I have her answers in my possession.

In the meantime, I'm going to do an About me Christmas Style. Fun, huh? I don't want to do a standard Christmas survery that dictates what questions should be answered. So get your questions related about all things Christmas, and I will answer them on Monday! You can also email me your questions if you want.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with! Yes, even you who never comment. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stories

My brain is tired. I'm finally done with finals. In an effort to make sure my readers get their dose of all things Making my Mark as well as make things easier on myself, here are some thoughts that I put together last week.

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I had someone say something that took me by surprise awhile back: "I wish I had your testimony." I pondered as to why they would want my testimony. They responded by saying that "God had done a miracle in my life, which was cool". They didn't think their story measured up to mine evidently. I told them that everyone has a story to tell whether they realize it or not. Their frown turned into a smile at the thought that they had something to say that actually mattered.

We were given an assignment in a class to write a story after looking at a picture. I will share mine.

As my teacher went around the room inquiring about everyone's stories, I began to see how different they all were. Stories remind me of handprints; we all have them but they're all unique. Everyone loves to hear how God did a miracle for me, but they fail to know the hardships that I've endured. My story is full of twists and turns, betrayal, overwhelming joy, hard work, love, great friends and a few scars. No story is in a beautiful book with glossy white pages, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful.


I also have hope that I am the author of my future. The pen is in my hand. The choices that I make will determine what the next chapter in my book will look like. Will you have another chapter in your book that is the same as the last one or will you make an effort to be spontaneous and live a little?


What's your story(you can be brief)?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Memories Rewind: Wisps turn into Whispers in the Wind

Every yard used to have them. They were a nuisance to the ones that were in charge of cutting the grass. I'm talking about dandelions.

One day, a family member showed me something that I've never forgotten. They picked a dandelion from the yard. "Now watch", they said. They blew on it, and I watched with wonder as the white wisps scattered everywhere.


I couldn't wait to do myself. Unlike the person who was with me, I took my time selecting just the right one. I close my eyes, and made a wish. Then, I blew with all my might. The sun was beating down on my back as I squinted to follow the wisps with my eyes. I strained until the last fiber dropped to the ground. The little wisps got carried away by the wind. I was as carefree as the seeds as a child, getting to play "school" whenever I wished with nap time schedule in between. I remember wishing for frivolous things back then. As I watched the dandelion go from a flower to just a green stem, I always believed that my wishes would come true.

I wanted everyone to see my new trick. I bet I picked at least ten dandelions that day. I couldn't help it. I was fascinated with how the delicate little white fibers could be so unusual yet so bad. I'd never seen a flower that would disintegrate in mere seconds with one breath. Rose petals had a bit more substance. It was work to pick those petals off.

Now that I'm older I can' t help but wonder who's yard ended up with several hundred dandelions in their yard all because of me.

Every time I see a white dandelion, I'm reminded of innocence and to never stop dreaming.

What's something that seemed magical to you when you were a child?

Sidenote: I won't be posting as much this week because I'm preparing for finals. I'm prepared for Writer's Alcove this Friday, but I'm waiting on that person to email me.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Thanking Him when you don't feel Thankful


I was thinking about things after I read an article. As a result, I started thinking about all that has happened in my life.

We always say thank you when someone holds the door for us.

We say thank you when we' re given a compliment.

The doctor was shocked that I thanked him after he'd injected me with three different medicines. Most people don't know that kind of thanks. The kind of thanks that flows from your lips because you're grateful he took a risk even when others wouldn't. The kind of thanks that means your thankful for relief even though you can't feel it yet.

Most of us don't thank God for our trials even though it says it in the Word(James 1:2-3). You should be thankful for the trials of life not because of the pain they bring but because of the change they bring. Mama asked me after a sermon from a few years ago if I had thanked God for the trials that I had been through. I said no. I didn't understand what that meant and why it was important for me to do it.

Now more wiser, I'm beginning to understand what she meant. If I hadn't been through a surgery at nine years old, I wouldn't know how to ignore mean comments and gestures from kids in elementary school.

If I hadn't gone through a few more surgeries, I wouldn't know how to press on even when it seems like I can't go anymore.

If my back hadn't started giving me trouble and ended up with a broken vertebrate that even an MRI couldn't see, I wouldn't have learned patience.

If I hadn't had to endure a freak accident with my hip that required a battery of tests, I would never have experienced God's grace on a whole new level (and a continued learning experience with patience).

I can honestly say that I'm thankful for every trial, every storm, being in the valley because everything has shaped me to be the person that I am. All of these events have taught me more about life than sitting by a fire being comfortable ever would have.

What's something that your thankful for?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Not your Ordinary Giveaway

I don't usually post on Sunday, but this is an exception. My friend Louise, from Louise Franks Designs is having a giveaway. She's giving away a favicon. A favicon is one of those super cool totally custom little buttons that you see in the address bar beside people's URL. It's a way to make your blog stand out in the sea of favorites, browser tab, and address(aka browser) bar. Usually you just see Blogger's logo, but not if you won this.

So, how do you enter?

To enter:

1. Please check her giveaway terms and conditions
2. Make sure that you are a follower of her blog
3. Tell her what you'd like for your favicon
4. If you choose to enter some additional entries, please leave each entry in a separate comment
5. Giveaway closes at 8am GMT on 27th December. Prize will be made in the new year
Please make sure your email address is visible on your profile or leave it in a comment

For additional entries:

1. Follow her on Twitter - my link is in the sidebar. Leave your Twitter username in a comment.
2. Tweet about her giveaway. Leave your tweet link in a comment
3. Blog about her giveaway. Leave your blog post URL in a comment.
4. Put her Countdown to Christmas link in your sidebar. Leave your blog URL in a comment
5. Put her regular link button in your sidebar. Leave your blog URL in a comment.
6. Follow her shop
7. Suggest a theme (or more) in which you'd like her to produce a digital scrapbooking kit or pre-made template. Leave your suggestion in a separate comment

Friday, December 04, 2009

Writer's Alcove: Four Sisters Farm



Today we have Four Sisters Farm with us. You'll love their stories about chasing dogs, getting baby chicks, and might even see a superhero or two in the posts. Sit back as we learn about life on a farm! My comment is in italics.


1. What is a favorite memory you have at the farm?


We have only been out here for 1 1/2 years. Our adventure has been short but amazingly wild! I have so many sweet memories already. In particular, I will always treasure helping Pop and my "save the old barn." We needed to stabilize one of the walls. Neglect and weather contributed to it's condition. We had to literally lift the barn roof up with jacks and replace the wall. We weren't strong enough to move the wall into place by ourselves so we had to enlist the help of our trusty "Fordy" tractor. Stabilizing the old barn was a priority to Pop. The barn is special to him. He has a vision for what it will look like when it has been totally restored. We all held our breath as we released the jacks and allowed the weight of the roof to settle onto the wall. The barn made a sound I've never really heard before. Pop said, "and the old barn sighs in relief." We have yet to restore the barn. There are more pressing repairs on the property right now. We know that it's time will come. In the meantime, the barn looks pretty spiffy at night with the bright Christmas lights shinning from the roof line as well as illuminating a giant wreath that hangs right under her hay loft window.

2. What got you interested in blogging?


My main motivation had to do with keeping Pop and Grammy updated. They were still living in another state when they purchased Four Sister's Farm. We wanted to document the process of making the farm our own. It was a great way to share pictures and stories with them. It also helped keep us connected across all those miles.


3. What’s something that you do that could be considered creative?


I find cooking to be a creative outlet. I have also learned to do a little sewing in the last couple of years. I guess if I can't come up with a very creative answer that means I'm not very creative. Hee Hee. Now, if my oldest sister, DW, was answering this question the possibilities would be endless. She is always coming up with some martha stewarty project. Her home is darling and she is always dressed super cute. Not that the other women in my life aren't fantastic as well. I just think DW got an extra portion of the creative blessing.


4. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change? The sky’s the limit!


Oh my. That is a loaded question. I can think of many things I would change that would be superficial. I don't spend a lot of time wishing things were different. I try to enjoy each day that God brings my way. I recognize that even the difficult parts of life have helped me grow closer to Him. There are things I wish I could change for others. I hate to watch other people hurt. When a friend or family member is going through hardship, I want to fix it for them.

(I sure wouldn't mind a magic wand being waved over my body...you know the kind of wand that could make 50 pounds disappear. Then I could stop this ridiculously irritating diet. Ha!)


5. If you could be one movie character who would you be and why?


I've got nothing...I sure can't think of a movie character I would want to be. I just like this life.


6. Were you a rough and tumble tomboy growing up or a girly girl?


I was a healthy mix of both. I loved girly stuff but I also played softball for most of my growing up years. I'm kind of a sweet and salty sort of girl. I have a big heart but I also have a lot of fight when I need to.


7. If money were no object, where would you go and what would you do?


I would build a huge house and adopt more children! I would give tons of money to help all the orphaned and neglected children in our world. I would find loving families who have the desire to adopt but don't have the funds. I would give them the money and then require that they name their children after me. Ha! Just kidding! In reality, I would rejoice in helping to create stable loving families for little ones who need them.


8. What are some things that you do with your kids that they still talk about?


Bubba just reminded me that last year he saw a clown at the pumpkin patch and that scared him. Apparently all the fun we had that day was ruined by one stinkin' clown. What was a clown doing at the pumpkin patch anyway. I should have knocked him out for scaring my baby.


9. If your life was a TV show, who would you want to play you?


Bonnie Hunt. I loved her performance in cheaper by the dozen. She is just so lovable. (I liked her in that movie too!)

10. Favorite quote?

Hmmm...I have a lot of scriptures that come to mind. However, as far as funny quotes go..."You're killin' me smalls" from the Sandlot.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know these ladies better! Do you know of a blog that should be featured? Email me! *Lest you think I'm superwoman, I did this post ahead of time. I would really appreciate your prayers. Being praying that I will rest good and that each day I'm less sore.*

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

An Unusual Birthday Present

I just got back from my doctor's appointment. It was a long day to say the least. We got there and the order for Botox was not approved even though my doctor had sent an urgent request in. They told us this as I was getting my blood pressure taken. Ha! I looked a the young girl and said, "That was a very bad time for them to tell me that. I know you'll have to take it again." The doctor came in and said, "I'm not going to let you leave empty handed. We'll discuss other things that can be done to help you." That was a huge relief because I have been sent away with nothing being done to help me. He said that he would prepare things as usual in hopes that it would be approved.

One of my doctors said that Botox wouldn't help, but after two months of trying other things in physical therapy, we at least had to try. Since the illiotibial band is a fibrous tendon, Botox won't help. We decided that cortisone and a patch would be the next best option. He asked me where it hurt the most, brought a picture in and marked the spots. I was given the choice of a hospital gown or shorts. I chose shorts. Little did I know, these weren't your normal shorts. They were huge! Dr. V said that he would put some on to make me feel better. The nurse took a picture of him that had us rolling in laughter.

This is where patience came in. This clinic is normally a children's clinic, so they don't normally do cortisone injections. He had to put in an order at the nearby hospital. We waited. An hour came and gone. He poked his head in the door saying it was taking longer than expected. We turned the TV on and got comfortable(well, as much as possible). Another hour. He apologized again, saying that the residents on call were taking awhile since it was something they weren't used to doing. You could tell he was becoming a little agitated. The shots finally arrived a little after lunch time. We were relived and Dr. V came in singing the Hallelujah chorus(literally).

He was kind enough to numb the areas beforehand. (I have had to endure eight shots with no numbing medicine). I won't lie. They didn't feel good going in, but I knew they had the right area when I felt pain.

When I left, I thanked him. He was taken aback, but I meant every word. I needed some relief and was grateful to him for being willing to do something about it! The day didn't go exactly as planned, but I don't know of any time that ever has. :)
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I'm another year older today. I guess time flies when you're having fun. :) It has been quite an adventure having a twin. I've always had a playmate, someone to goof off with, and share my life with. We started kindergarten together and graduated high school together. As we grow older, life will take us down different paths, but we will always have each other.


We celebrated early with my mom's side of the family since my brother is going to be out of town the rest of the week.






Yummy Hummingbird Cake





Blowing out the candles


Here's to 20 more birthdays together, buddy!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Scavenger Hunt Answers!

Did any of you participate in the Scavenger Hunt this time? How much did you know about me? Let's find out!


  • What Christmas gift did I loathe so much that I made it stop talking?

The doll that I got from my mom that came with its own microchip that annoyed me to no end.


  • What is a game that my brother and I played as children?

Superman and the Couch. That wasn't the game's officiaila name. We just played. My brother insisted on being superman though. :)


  • What unusual place did my brother and I sometimes play in outside?

The soybean mill.


  • Name the band that I loved as a preteen.

It was undoubtedly the Backstreet Boys. You can read the post I wrote about it here if you wish.


  • What did I chew on at a friend's sleepover?

A glow in the dark stick. Read all about the dramatic tale of a girl who thought her life was over then and there.


  • A female Kohl's sales associate didn't know what this is. What is it?





It was a camisole. Yes, my dear readers, a camisole. I was shocked that someone in retail didn't know that.


  • What did I dress up for Halloween as a child?

A princess.


  • What did I give my grandparents for their anniversary?

A poem. You can read it here. Just click on the button to enlarge the picture for easier reading.


  • What did my brother and I do to my dad's former girlfriend's daughter one afternoon?

We got dust in her eyes in a race that ended in silence. Read it for yourself here.


  • What kind of AFOs (braces) was I wearing when my brother was wearing these:



My braces had butterflies on them. I figured if I had to wear them, they might as well look pretty. Don't you agree?


Stay tuned this week! I have a hilarious post coming up that involves a song, me, and a whole lotta laughs. You don't want to miss it! You'll never know what I might come up with next!

Sidenote: My birthday is Wednesday and I have a doctor's appointment. It will be a long day, but it will be worth it if I get what I need.,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Change of Plans

I regret to say that Writer's Alcove won't happen this week because the person hasn't responded. If you don't have your email enabled, please think about it. It makes things so much easier when someone tries to contact you. If you've always wanted to do it but didn't know how, I'm going to help you. Click on Edit Profile. Scroll down until you see Show Email--make sure this box is checked. Save changes.

Since all of you liked it, I'm going to do another Scavenger Hunt. Click here to see the first one.


The Object of the Game: Find as many things out about me by searching through my entries--old and new. Take advantage of the search bar. (The relevant entries will show in a white box.)


  • What Christmas gift did I loathe so much that I made it stop talking?


  • What is a game that my brother and I played as children?



  • What unusual place did my brother and I sometimes play in outside?



  • Name the band that I loved as a preteen.



  • What did I chew on at a friend's sleepover?



  • A female Kohl's sales associate didn't know what this is. What is it?





  • What did I dress up for Halloween as a child?



  • What did I give my grandparents for their anniversary?



  • What did my brother and I do to my dad's former girlfriend's daughter one afternoon?



  • What kind of AFOs (braces) was I wearing when my brother was wearing these:


Have fun! I'll post the answers late Monday (or Tuesday) afternoon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Memories Rewind: Don't take It it's all I've Got



It was a few weeks before Christmas. People were rushing around filling their carts and arms with gifts. In the midst of the chaos was the ever popular Christmas photographer. The line wove its way around the aisle and into the clothing. It was almost if that photo was a rite of passage each year. After all, mothers were standing in line for hours with screaming babies who just wanted food. No cameras, duckies, or funny faces.

Before I knew it, it was my turn. Sit on the box and face the camera sweetie said the nice man. I smoothed out my deep blue dress and gave them my best smile. Click, click, click. Three pictures down and a million to go.

"Here's an umbrella. We want to try something a little different" said the female assistant. Only a woman knows that an outfit isn't complete without accessories-and neither is a photo. My eyes lit up at the sight of the beautiful white lace. Hold the umbrella in one hand while tilting your head, OK? said the woman. I gave it my best shot while clutching the umbrella.

"OK, All done! " said the woman. I slid off the box proudly holding my newfound treasure. "Sweetie, you have to give the umbrella back." What?! No one told me that. Needless to say, I wasn't giving up that easily. Didn't she see that we were meant to be? I don't think she understood how a child's mind worked. When you give them something, they think it's theirs. She showed me a treasure chest full of goodies like a squeaky yellow duck, countless shiny bracelets. It was no use. Nothing could compare to my umbrella.
ETA: In an ideal world, the umbrella would have become mine, making a home amongst my toy box. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. I got a vivid taste of reality that day that left a bitter taste in my mouth. I was beginning to think that I didn't like photographers after all. I did as I was told and placed the umbrella back in the black trunk. I didn't look back because I was too sad. A lifelong friendship filled with tea parties and dress up wasn't meant to be.
I thought I had written that I didn't get to keep it in the end. My fingers were typing faster than my brain was processing things! Thanks for catching that, Gwen!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Writing: More than a Hobby, it's a Passion

As you know, writing is a passion of mine. My love of writing was fueled by an awe of how words, style, and sentence structure could create something vastly different each time I wrote. My English teachers always encouraged me to continue to get better putting a smiley face in the corner. My mom would also give her stamp of approval when I showed her my latest piece. That love and appreciation of writing is still with me today.


In one of my speech classes, a classmate wrote a blog about how interpersonal communication has changed. I was reminded of the days where my friend and I would write letters. It was almost as if she was closer to me in that letter because I could close my eyes and imagine her writing that letter with the ink flowing smoothly across the page. What were her thoughts at that time? Words kept us connected even when distance didn't.

It's sad to know that kids would rather text than put pen to paper these days. I recently read an article that teachers are trying to preserve the art of cursive writing. The teacher said that now schools stop teaching cursive after third grade. You had to really concentrate when first learning cursive, and I was elated when I finally mastered the h.



As I’m sitting here thinking of my friend and our letters we exchanged, so long ago, I was struck with a simple but complex thought: The mind is not only a memory holder but also a memory maker. How can they be both, you wonder? The mind holds memories just like a recorder. Memories of my first day of college, memories of a group discussion in class that led to infectious laughter ringing loud over any disagreements there may have been. It’s also a memory maker because our mind has the innate ability to weave words together like a beautiful tapestry that’s never ending.


What are some of your passions?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Writer's Alcove: A Duck in her Pond




Today we have the Blond Duck from A Duck in her Pond here with us. She's a spunky magazine editor who writes stories that capitative you within minutes and leave you begging for more. In her spare time, she enjoys watching her two furbabies beg for fresh pie or cookies straight from the oven. Grab your favorite beverage and get comfortable as we learn more about the Blond Duck!



1. What got you interested in writing?

To be frank, I have no idea. I just know I’ve never not written. I was a voracious reader even from a really young age. My parents used to go hoarse from reading book after book to me at night! And I always loved stories, whether they were being told by a teacher or neighbor. The fourth grade is the earliest time I can remember announcing I wanted to be a children’s book writer and illustrator.

I’m still working on the illustrating part.


2. If you could write your dream novel, what would it be and why?

I have written my dream novel. All my stories are dream stories. Each one comes from a burst of inspiration and is the most wonderful tale ever. Then, I get an idea for another one. Each story I write is a favorite, in its own little way. But Twirl and The Gift were the most popular, to date.


3. Tell me about the first story you ever wrote. What were some of the characters?
It was Mr. Bunny. He was going to Canada and bringing Mrs. Bunny back a present. It was a wonderful tale, about seven pages colored with pencil and crayon and stapled in the center.


4. If you could be a character in a book what would you be and why?
I would be a mix of Dallas Jean, Vivi, Miss Pickles and the kitchen fairy seen in Bitzy’s tale last year. If you can think of the most outlandish, fun, magical, pink-wearing pie-eating character, that would be me. I would rather be crazy and weird than boring. Life is about adventures…and lots of pie.


5. If you could meet one author (dead or alive) who would it be?
Roald Dahl or Madeline L’Engle.



6. Do you have any secret talents that we don’t know about?
I can pick things up with my toes.

7. If you could travel back in time where would you go and who would you take?


I would take Ben, and we would go to the ‘50s. I would dine at milk shops and charming diners every day, wear poodle skirts and do all those fun dances. Plus, they had penicillin then and the war was over. I would leave before the hippies showed up.
8. Favorite childhood memory?
Twirling around in the pink princess Aurora dress my mom sewed for me and hours of my little ponies.

Not much has changed.

9. If you were on a deserted island what is one fun item you would take and why?
It’s not an item, but the Babies. Watching them chase crabs and chew on coconuts would be hilarious.

10. What was the last book you drooled over in Barnes & Noble (or online)?
Winnie the Pooh.


Now that you know more about my friend that has creativity oozing from her pores, go on over and say hello! The Pond welcomes all visitors(and if you come bearing pie she'll be extra nice to you). If you loved this and know of a fabulous blog that I just must include, email me! Come back next week to see who is visiting the Writer's Alcove!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Memories Rewind: Who knew MyScene could be a Personal DJ?

I need to give a little background on this story. Some of you are thinking, What in the world is MyScene, people already have their own space, do they really need their own scene too?! MyScene was popular with tween girls. You know the ones who are too old to play with Barbies, but still like to dress up dolls? Yeah, I'm talking about those girls.

MyScene is an interactive website that lets you go on shopping sprees, paint your nails, go to the beauty salon and even to a movie premier or two...virtually of course.

One night my cousins begged me to come into the computer room and pull up MyScene for them. I did. It was a little slow to load, but when it did you knew it. The MyScene theme song started playing its little catchy tune. That was all it took for my little cousin to start dancing and goofing off. Before I knew it, we had the music turned up singing our hearts out. My Granddaddy wanted to get in on the fun so he joined us in the sun room.

"What is that playing on the computer? he asked. "It's MyScene, Granddaddy my youngest cousin answered with a dumbfounded look on her face."

"Oh, I kind of like that he said. Turn it up a little." Oh no, I thought. Granddaddy wants me to turn it up? Well, I didn't know what was going to happen next.

He started moving his arms up and down while bobbing his head up and down. My youngest cousin thought this was hilarious. Imagine the music and laughter all woven together to create this feeling of fun in the old and the young.

I dare you to not start singing along to the video below.
*We only paid attention to the part that starts at the 20 second mark and ended at 24 mark because my younger cousin didn't know all of the words*

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Still Alive

I'm still alive. I haven't blogged much because I've had my nose in books and polishing up an essay. This year almost halfway over. I can't believe it! When I was little, time used to drag on forever...or so I thought.


I'm turning in my last essay of the semester tomorrow. I'm always glad to finish it because it means I've almost survived another semester. Therapy is good. I keep going back even when I don't think I can do another exercise or take another step because I know it's worth it. I've seen the difference it makes if you keep at it. I'm not bionic woman by any means, I have to encourage myself just like you do. My mama has always told me to take it one step at a time or I'll get overwhelmed. So, that's what I'm doing. One step means your that much closer to your goal...even if you have to go a little slower than others.


I'm working on finalizing everything for finalizing the lucky blogger who is featured this week. There will be questions that you've might have thought about asking and some of them are just plain fun. You don't want to miss it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Feature!

I wanted to do something to honor the immensely talented bloggers out there while still staying true to my passion which is writing. I've racked my brain for weeks for the perfect feature, and I think I've come up with one that's pretty close.

Writer's Alcove will be a weekly post that features a blog that's creative funny, unique, inspiring and everything in between. I'll post a little bit about their blog along with some questions that aren't normally asked of writers.

I also want this to be a place that I can spotlight some blogs that my readers love. If you know anyone who should be featured, write me an email and I'll check them out! This is supposed to be fun, so any and all emails will be read and considered.

What are you waiting for?! Tell who you must read each morning!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Memories Rewind: Superman and the Couch

Some nights my brother and I would be ready for bed, some nights not so much. On those nights that we were just too excited to sleep, we played a "game". It wasn't the type of game where you keep score, constantly looking at the yellow notepad to see who was winning. This was a game that involved no yelling and no fighting. I must say it did require a little patience when waiting your turn.

I had just slipped my light pink gown with a B@rbie emblem over my head. I raced back to the living room ready to start playing. My parents had a old couch that we didn't use. Boy oh boy, we jumped at the chance to have our very own couch. This was very exciting news to seven year olds because it meant we could do whatever we wanted with it, within reason of course.

My brother had taken his rightful place atop the couch, and I was determined to join him. I grabbed the hard edge where the cushions would normally sit and pulled myself up. My brother loved to be Superm@n in this game, so my mom obliged him by getting him a towel from the bathroom. This wasn't just any ordinary towel. This towel had seen many battles so it was worn around the edges, gently fraying. My brother loved this part because it was like the towel had battle scars.

1, 2, 3 we counted in unison. My brother spread out his cape in preparation for his landing because duty called. "Wee!" was the cry that could be heard 'round the world. Anxious for my turn, I skipped the counting. BAM! My landing wasn't so graceful.

"Let's go again!" my brother squealed hardly able to contain his excitement. We repeated this until we were dizzy from jumping so fast numerous times. As we went to bed, we were already planning when Superm@n and his sidekick would meet again.

Can you think of any silly games that you made up with your siblings that were so much fun that you still remember?

*I'm in the process of thinking of a name for a weekly feature so stay tuned for that!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

My Ideal Day

My ideal day would consist of relaxing activities. The world is so fast paced, it's nice to slow down sometimes. I would sleep in till about 9:00 A.M. Then, I would pick up a good book and read a few chapters. Around lunch time, I go have lunch at our favorite restaurant with my mom. We'd talk about our day, not rushing, so that we could enjoy each other's company. We'd go shopping. I'd pick up some new things, then help Mama. It always helps to have someone tag along with you while shopping.

After all that, we'd come home. Mama would make my brother and my favorite dish. I wouldn't talk a lot, so that my brother could have a chance to talk. It's hard to get a word in around two women, you know?

The night would end with a good movie. Not necessarily a new one either. It doesn't have to be new to be good. I'd look around and remind myself of how blessed I am. I'd slide under the covers, my stomach full and my heart happy.

I've shared my ideal day, what's yours?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Memories Rewind: Herbal Essence Commercial White Girl Style

C'mon admit it. We all judged people by what they wore in middle school. The brand of your clothes could mean you could talk to the "in crowd" one day and be snubbed the next.

One thing you may not have realized that kids judged was people's hair. People who had straight hair wanted curly, people who had blonde wanted brown and so on. It was a never ending cycle.

I had just come back from recess. I sit down in my desk in my fourth grade Language Arts class and realized that my hair looked a little funny. I wasn't the type of girl to check my face or hair every five minutes, so I didn't have a brush with me.

I did something that I thought was normal. I tilted my head down then I flipped my head up. My hair fell exactly where I wanted it to. One black girl who was a friend of mine looked at me in amazement.

"What did you just do?" they whispered hardly able to catch their breath.

"You mean the hair flip? I asked in disbelief. What's so special about that I wondered? "A, come over here and watch this" the girl shouted to her friend.

"Our hair could never do that" the girls stated emphatically. "Could you do it again?"

Sure. By this time both girls were lunged forward, totally oblivious to the fact that we were in a classroom and not a hair salon.

I repeated steps one and two. "Wow," they said in unison. "Our hair just sticks to our head. We would love to have hair like yours."

I smiled at them and laughed at what just happened. After all, they had just given me the Best Hair Award (based on how many people were watching of course :)). Granted, they were a little inexperienced in the hair judging department, but I'll take two compliments any day.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Wishes Granted...in more ways than One

My poll is now closed. My readers have spoken. I I'll be keeping the titles large. Thanks for voting! I also want to give a warm welcome to my new followers. Feel free to look around. If you like what you see you can subscribe to my feeds so you're always in the loop of what's happening with me. Need to find a post but don't want to scroll through dozens of posts? Type in a few words in the search engine on my sidebar. (You're welcome to make suggestions about any improvements that you think would make this a better site)

As a side note, this semester has really flew by for me. I've loved my classes and teachers, which makes a huge difference. I forgot to tell you all that I registered for classes last week. I'm excited because one of my classes allows me to combine my love of writing with media. Class registration always solidifies the fact that I'm one step closer to finishing another year. Wow. That is mind boggling.

I have some exciting news to share. I was able to add one more hour to my schedule, which is HUGE for me! I used to feel a twinge of disappointment because I haven't been able to stay as long as I would like to. I joked with my admissions teacher if I could just hurt in the afternoon instead of in the morning I'd be OK. She was laughing for a few minutes after that. She responded by saying, "Yeah, it would be nice to put your pain on a schedule." I laughed. It was a much needed one because things got a little tense because we were all trying to work around PT while giving me the classes that I wanted. Of course my PT had to add his thoughts by saying, "It would be great if you didn't hurt at all." Now that's more like it. The schedule isn't what I normally have, but I need certain classes. As always, God comes through right when you need Him.

Aaah. I'm finally learning that things really do have a way of working out. Have you had a situation that seemed humanly impossible to fix but God came through for you? Do tell!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween: Then and Now

I had planned to do a cool post with pictures about how Halloween has changed over the years. We were in W@l Mart looking at the Halloween stuff, which ranged from baby and toddler costumes, sexy children's costumes, and adult costumes.

Side by side were a pair of Dorothy costumes. The only problem is that one of the choices was the sexy version complete with low cut corset like top sexy tights and sky high stilettos. No wonder kids today are growing up too fast. Where are the role models? The ones that inspire kids to be different, to be themselves and not care what others think?

When I was growing up, Halloween was all about fun and candy. I wasn't trying to get some guy's attention. I was trying to fill my basket up. :) Some of my friends posted several different costume options on their MySp@ce to see which one was the favorite of the crowd. Now they have sExy firefighters, cave women, sailors, race car drivers, and boxing champions. What really surprised me was this:



A sexy butterfly costume (that most preteens think is perfectly fine because that's what the media says). What is up with that?!

I was a princess one year. What did you dress up as a kid for Halloween?

--Don't forget to cast your vote in the poll on my left sidebar. You have until Monday. I want to have your input.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Memories Rewind: Dust gets rid of Girlfriend’s Daughters

My dad's old girlfriend was visiting one day with the kids. It was kind of like a get to know you day. We had just finished lunch, so my brother and I headed outside to play. B's oldest daughter wanted to help me fix my hair. Girls try to look their best you know.

My brother and I got on the golf cart while L took the four wheeler. We had two driveways, so it made the perfect circle for a race track. Lap one L was in the lead. Not to be outdone, my brother and I inched our way up to the front. I saw a chance to pass so I did. My brother looked back and saw L coming too close for comfort. "Make the dust get in her eyes!" my brother yelled. "Yes!" I thought. Our plan worked. L couldn't see where she was going. I floored the gas...a little too soon.

Our victory of success was short lived because I had forgotten that the other driveway curved around the rosebush. I saw it when it was too late: I was headed straight for the side of the house! Oh no. What am I going to do? I practically shouted in my head. Yelling to myself about my stupid mistake was futile. I wasn't going to be taken out by a fender bender or a little spin out. I had a date with the house in about 2 seconds. The steering wheel rattled underneath my hand. I was gripping and turning it with all of the strength of a 9 year old. Nothing happened. The golf cart didn't appreciate the primping I did before the race huh?

"BAM!" As the golf cart came to an abrupt halt, my stomach hit the steering wheel. I slowly peeled myself from the steering wheel to assess my physical injuries. Aside from soreness and a little redness, I was no worse for the wear. Trying to be a supportive girlfriend, B came over to make sure I was OK. "Yeah" was my feeble reply.

I got off the golf cart, vowing to never ride it again. If it didn't recognize a cute little girl then I had no use for it. Humph. That'll teach it to mess with a girl.

Anxious to know who won the race, I hobbled over. No one said a word. To my amazement, L was still wiping dust underneath her glasses. From that day on, L never uttered a word about racing us again. I guess she didn't want to face the dust busters again because one helping of that was enough.

Reminder: Don't forget to vote in the poll on my left sidebar! I want your opinions (yes, lurkers too).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Where oh Where has my Title Gone?

I've never had the titles of my posts show up on people's sidebars or G0ogle Readers. I always wondered why because it bugged me that I couldn't fix it. I've always put the title in the post and bolded it so it would stand out. Clever, huh?

I've finally figured out the problem (thanks to some searching on the Blogger help forum): The title wasn't enabled to show up. I have no clue how it got changed because I have another blog for a class that has always had a space for the title. Since I was frustrated, I wanted to make sure that none of you ever go through that. If you do, you can always bookmark this post in case you forget what to do.

To make the titles of your posts show up, click on Settings, Formatting, and then scroll down until you see Show Title Field. Make sure Yes is selected.

P.S Since my title now shows, I have the option of changing the size of it to smaller or larger. I want to get your opinion on which one you like best since you are the ones reading it. Vote in the poll on my left sidebar for the one you want!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moving On

I haven't updated on my health because I haven't thought it was necessary. I also don't want this blog to be all about pain.

I just had another visit to the pain clinic on Tuesday. They have done all that they know to do basically. I'm also reaching the age that I need to be at an adult pain clinic. I'm not sad about this at all because everyone involved agrees that we need at fresh perspective on my situation. It's also good to take an active role in your recovery and not be passive.

Things have been at a standstill for awhile, but everything has a way of working out. These new doctors could know just the thing to help me, so change can be good. I've been having trouble with my IT (also known as iliotibial) band, but I'm still going to school. My goal is to add another class to my schedule for this spring. If I'm not able to, it won't be the end of the world. Mama keeps reminding me that it's ok if it takes me five years to finish school. I keep telling myself that it just matters that I finish, not when I finish.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Memories Rewind: Bowling Rebel

When you have a disability, you find new ways of doing normal everyday things. I was in a leadership program at my church and we had all reached our goal, so we celebrated.

We went bowling. While most people are contemplating what food they're going to order, I was thinking about how I was going to be able to bowl with everyone else and not make a fool of myself. Davey bowled...Shenea bowled...then it was my turn. I put my fingers into the black ball and got into position. That ball was heavy! Miss K showed me where to put my feet for balance.

1, 2, and 3. I let go of the ball hoping for the best. It landed straight in the gutter. All of my friends said it was OK. I shrugged off the incident and sat down to wait my turn. One of my teachers was up next. I can't remember what she bowled but anything more than 10 was good in my book. At least she had something up on the board.

It was my turn again. Wanting to help me, Miss K was trying to think of a way that I could bowl with everyone else so that I wouldn't be left out. "Have you ever heard of the Granny Bowl?" she asked.

"No, what's that?" I replied with curiosity. "Sit down on the floor and spread your legs out, M" Miss K said. Hmm, my plan of not making a fool of myself was thrown out of the window now. I warmed up by moving my arm back and forth a few times to get some momentum. Then, I let 'er rip with as much force as I could muster.

To my surprise, the ball didn't go into the gutter. It stayed in the middle and knocked down three pins. Woo hoo! I'm finally on the board! I thought. Mr. P and Miss K came and congratulated me. "Way to go, M!" Davey said. They didn't care that I had to sit on the floor to bowl. We laughed and ate pizza never giving it another thought. What good are friends that you can't be yourself around anyway?

At the end of the night, I found a way to do things my way and still had fun.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall Favorites

It's official. Fall is in the air. I decided it would be fun to put together a collection of some fabulous fall finds that I would love to own. Not that I need anything, I just love to put together outfits in my mind.

Cardigans. They go with everything and can add a fun pop of color to any outfit while keeping you warm. I might do a video post of my favorite fall items that I already own. I'll show you how you can mix and match things for a completely different look.



No longer available. (It comes in red too).


Like this one (no longer available). It's a little more dressy, but I liked it because it had a unique detail on the front and an interesting color. It's ok to change it up for fall. You'll be able to wear this again and again.

Jewelry. I like to have a few fun pieces mixed with things that can be worn with other things.

This multi colored bracelet from Target fits the bill perfectly.




This bracelet set is classic enough that it can be worn with anything but also unique.
Trouser jean. I love this type of jean because they can be dressed up very easily. I have a few different washes-medium and very dark. I wouldn't care if they were "in" or not because I like them. Enough said.
What are some things in your wardrobe that you find yourself reaching for again and again in when it gets chilly outside? How do you inject a dose of personality into it?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Memories Rewind: Don’t Have Friends? Make ‘Em Up

I've already written about my oldest cousin's and my love of the Backstreet Boys from years gone by. This carried over into other areas of our lives as well.

When we were bored, we would go into my Memaw's guest bedroom and play. The door was shut not only to give us some privacy, but also to let our imaginations run wild without fearing anyone else had seen (or heard) our stupidity.

"Today we are going to call the Backstreet Boys," I said.

"Ooh, how about Nick" my cousin said. "Yes, definitely Nick, I screamed, unable to contain my excitement at the mere thought of him. He's the cutest." As you can tell we had our priorities straight. Cuteness first. Everyone else later.

My grandmother knew we played this game quite often so she was kind enough to let us use her dusty blue phone just for this purpose. It was one of those phones that you put your finger in the whole of the number you wanted to dial and turn it completely around, then dial the next number until you were finished dialing. At our age we just knew it made a cool sound as we dialed the numbers. I now know it's a rotary phone, but if you would have told me that then, I would've rolled my eyes at you. We had boys to call.

Ring, ring. We waited with baited breath for our "boyfriends" to pick up on the other end. A phone call has to have two people to participate, so one of us had to be the boy. My cousin always played the boy role. "Hey Nick! Whatcha been up to?" I squeaked.

"Nothing much. What about you?" he bellowed. At this point, I had a hard time controlling my laughter on the other end. Imagine a 6 year old girl trying to imitate a boy. I dare you not to laugh. :)

"Have you been doing a lot of concerts lately?" I asked hoping to hear some cool stories.

"A few" was the curt reply. Well then.

"How's AJ? I coyly replied, smiling into the phone because of my quick wit. "That'll teach him to be rude," I thought. A girl has to keep her options open, so I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. What did I know about dating? All of my "expertise" came from watching Saved by the Bell and none of them had a great track record.

"He's fine,"
Nick said snappily. He wanted to be the center of attention and wasn't about to be dethroned by AJ. Since I was silent on the other end, he knew it was best to end this conversation that was more like survival of the hottest before it got ugly. "Talk to ya later," he sighed. He was beginning to realize this relationship stuff was hard work.

"Ok, love ya bye!" I hung up feeling like the luckiest girl in the world even though I didn't talk to him at all.

My cousin came into the room to get her turn, and I picked up the other phone. This could keep us entertained for hours. And the saga of famous boyfriends continued late into the afternoon.